13 January 2013

Trash pickin' ain't for sissies...

I'm going to just put something out there. I hope it doesn't offend anyone, because I'm not saying you shouldn't do it - just that it's not my thing. 'kay?

Let me preface it all by telling you that I grew up in rural Appalachia. I'm not talking pretty rolling hills with fancy fences rural. I'm talking one traffic light, 30 miles to the nearest McDonald's, no air conditioning, we burned our trash rural.

My mom is queen of the yard sales. She is physically incapable of driving past one without stopping. Is there a medical term for that condition? If so, she has a major case of it. She has so much stuff, she could open a store; but since she doesn't, it's just hoarding. (not kidding, folks)

My dad was a trash-picker. I remember all of us piling into a little Mustang (with rusted out floor boards), and driving down a dirt road (yes, the dust rolled into the car through the rusted out floor boards - and no, they didn't understand why I had an allergy attack), to get to the "dump". The "dump", as it was called, was just a hillside off a back road where all the locals dumped their "big" trash - like couches, chairs, appliances, etc. Dad loved to pick through it.

I never fit in well with my family. I didn't speak with a "country" accent, I used big words (and used them correctly), and I hated camping, yard sales, and trash picking. I have never willingly gone to a yard sale. Even flea markets make me shudder. I don't camp. At all. Ever. My entire childhood was one long camping trip and I've done my time. Now, to me, roughing it is staying in a hotel that doesn't have wi-fi.

Again, let me say that if you choose to do these things, I have no problem with it. Just don't ask me to go with you. Or even wait in the car. I'll just meet you at Starbucks later. (trenta black tea lemonade with 3 Splendas, please)

We have regular trash pickers who drive our cul-de-sac several times a day on the day before trash pick-up. I admit it, our street puts out some pretty good "trash". TVs, bookcases, desks, rugs, etc. So when I saw my across-the-street neighbors had put out the barstools from their kitchen, I knew they'd be swiped right away. The more I thought about it, the more I thought they would be perfect for Buddy to use in the basement (did I mention he got a pool table for his upcoming birthday?). So I called Gus, we conferred, and decided to get them. I rang their doorbell, because I didn't want to just drag the chairs across the street - but no one was home. Sigh.

So I checked the street - no one was outside. I made a dash to the corner, grabbed the chairs, and hauled ass back across the street to my house. Mission accomplished. And I'm pretty sure no one saw me. (I may or may not have been wearing a hat & dark glasses.)

The chairs were just as I remembered them - nice heavy metal with swivel seats covered in microfiber. But the seats were really dirty...


I sprayed some of my trusty Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner on the seats, rubbed with an old dish scrubber, then a microfiber cloth.


I had to repeat a couple of times on a few spots, but check this out!


These babies look like new now!!


Hey, look at me, Dad!! I'm officially a trash-picker!! Somehow, I know he's up in heaven laughing his ass off.
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